Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Novelty blitz format?

 At the Dubbo Open each year, the organisers run a novelty blitz event on the Saturday Night. It is a time handicap event, where the difference in rating determines the time difference between the 2 players. However, based in part on an idea by IM Jovan Petronic, there may be another format.

Petronic's initial suggestion concerned Swiss Pairings. He wondered if anyone had tried a format where the lowest ranked player in a scoregroup could choose their next opponent (from that group), instead of having the pairing assigned by the computer. Of course there would be issues with floaters and colour allocations, but in looking to deal with those, I came up with a modified format.

NB This would only work in a blitz or rapid event of sufficient rounds. In the first round it is simply top half v bottom half with 5 minutes each. However, for each round after that, the lowest ranked player would choose their next opponent from the remaining players, with the caveat that they had not played before, and the choice would not break the absolute colour history (3 in a row or 3 more than the other colour). If there is an odd number of players, then the lowest ranked player (who hadn't had a bye) would get the bye. However, the extra sauce would be that the difference in points would also be the difference in time on the clock. So if a player on 2 points chose an opponent on 4 points, the lower ranked player would start with 6 minutes versus 4 (in blitz). For a rapid, this difference could be 2 minutes per point difference.

At first I suspect the lower ranked players would choose other lower ranked players, but this means a win would push them up the rankings, and they would get to choose later (or be chosen by stronger players ranked below them). There also might be a situation where a mid ranked player decides to take out the leader, hoping the time difference helps them sufficiently.

I' mot sure something like this has been tried before, and so I may decide to give it a go at an upcoming event. The only draw back is that under most Federations rating rules, an event like this is so far out that it could not be rated.

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